Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"I Gave You Words / Field Of Cradles" Exhibition

Our sweet Myles was creator, Susannah Pabot's, inspiration for this project and is among those babies being honored. The poem that was written for Myles is beautiful. I will share it along with photos of the exhibit after the event. If you are near Brown and can go experience this beautiful, moving exhibition, I would highly recommend it. I wish I could be there to experience it in person.

I Gave You Words / Fields of Cradles Exhibition Description
by Susannah Pabot

Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only in pregnancy and the postpartum period, characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Worldwide, preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death, claiming the lives of an estimated 76,000 women and 500,000 babies each year. There is at present no known prevention or cure, except for the delivery of the baby, often much too early in the pregnancy.

In the US, morbidity and mortality related to preeclampsia is predominately linked to the affects of the condition on the baby. Preeclampsia can cause intrauterine growth restriction, a state in which the baby does not receive enough oxygen and nutrients to grow normally, or it can cause placental abruption, meaning that the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus before the baby is born. Risks to a premature baby include incomplete lung development and many other potential health problems.

Although there is no cure, knowing the warning signs of preeclampsia can lead to more timely diagnosis and better outcomes. Despite this fact, almost half of all pregnant women do not currently receive information about preeclampsia during their pregnancies.

This exhibition aims to raise awareness of preeclampia and related conditions by honoring the lives of the many babies lost each year to this disease. Writer Susannah Pabot (BROWN MFA '12), herself a two-times survivor of preeclampsia, worked with over twenty families from throughout the United States to create poems for the exhibition. Each cradle in the exhibition displays one of these poems and is dedicated to the memory of a baby who died as a result of preeclampsia or a related hypertensive disorder of pregnancy. Side by side, the cradles tell a story of the devastation left in the wake of these conditions, but also remind us that each tiny life lost to preeclampsia was that of a little person who was here, who was loved, whose life mattered and always will.

The poems are printed on cotton and displayed on individually designed and knit baby blankets, created by Alyssa Fu (textiles, RISD '11) and Eliza Squibb (textiles, RISD '13). The cradles are designed by Rebecca Lee (furniture design, RISD '11) and created with the generous assistance of Bud Saggal (Precision Laser Inc, Pawtucket, RI).

The exhibition's sound environment, which includes recordings of the poems by members of the Brown and Providence communities, was composed by Ling Zhou (composition, RISD/BROWN '13).